This is the 21st instalment in the ever engaging Honorable Phryne Fisher, lady detective series. It’s been a long seven years since the 20th instalment Murder and Mendelssohn was published and this new book has been worth the wait.
In this reader’s humble opinion, Ms Greenwood’s prose has reached new heights with the wonderful heroine and her many and various friends. More coquettish, more Cole Porter-ish, perhaps it is due to being set in Marvelous Melbourne of 1929. This time there are two very separate plots afoot, with Phyrne and her faithful companion Dot making their way to Daylesford, leaving the Fisher household occupants to solve a murder on their own (with the help of Hugh Collins).
This book is a weighty tome of 315 pages and needs every page to keep two such large plots running. Being separate adventures which don’t interweave until the very end, this reader cheated a little by reading every second section, following Jane, Ruth, Tinker, Cec and Bert as they resolved their murder mystery, then returned to the start to read of Phyrne and Dot’s mystery. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group